The matriarch of American Long Range Shooting has done it again. The amazing Nancy Tompkins won the 2015 NRA Long Range Championship with an impressive performance. This year’s LR match went down to the wire after many days of shooting. It all came down to X-Count, with two talented ladies tied for score. Shooting a 1242-58X over the multi-day competition, Nancy finished four Xs ahead of SSG Amanda Elsenboss (1242-54X). Amanda’s USAMU team-mate, SFC Brandon Green, finished third, one point back, at 1241-75X. SFC Green, the newly-crowned 2015 High Power National Champion, had high X-Count by a wide margin.
This year’s Long Range Championships event was hugely popular, with 321 competitors on the match roster. Many familiar faces ranked among the Special Award winners. Our friends David Tubb (1241-69X) and Jim O’Connell (1235-66X) were High Senior and High Grand Senior, respectively. Tubb finished fourth overall, with the second-highest X-Count. There were also talented newcomers, such as High Junior Charlotte Flanagan, a young Kiwi from far-away New Zealand. Firing a 1236-40X, Charlotte is shooting at an extremely high level for someone so young. As Ken Littlefield noted: “It’s pretty impressive to come into Camp Perry for the first time and win the Junior Championship!” Charlotte could be formidable at the World Fullbore LR Championships slated for 3-9 August at Camp Perry.
Here are the overall Top 10 finishers. Note that Michelle Gallager, Nancy Tompkins’s daughter, made the Top 10, making this a “family affair” for the Tompkins/Gallagher clan:
1. NANCY TOMPKINS (1242-58X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Match ‘Any’ Rifle*, Rule 3.2, 3.7(c)
2. SSG AMANDA ELSENBOSS (1242-54X), HM, USA REG W Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
3. SFC BRANDON GREEN (1241-75X), HM, USA REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
4. DAVID TUBB (1241-69X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
5. DAVID CALVERT (1241-63X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
6. JANE MESSER (1240-60X), HM, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
7. DAVID LUCKMAN (1239-68X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
8. SGT DICONZA (1238-59X), HM, USMC REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
9. PHILLIP CROWE (1238-54X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
10. MICHELLE GALLAGHER (1237-64X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
*The NRA Match bulletin lists Palma Rifle, but Nancy said she shot her “Any Rifle”.
In this photo, Michelle Gallagher is missing … but someone had to take the photo.
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One Pistol, Two Barrels, Two Playing Cards — here’s a trick shot we just had to share. The talented Kirsten Joy Weiss does something we’ve never seen before, splitting TWO (2) playing cards with a unique, twin-barreled 1911-style pistol. Watch the video to see Kirsten pull off this double-barreled doozy of a trick, firing two bullets at the same time.
It took a few tries, but Kirsten makes the shot at the 3:14 time-mark:
Kirsten was enthusiastic about this unique trick: “Splitting two cards with two bullets fired at once? The double-barreled 1911 was just begging for a trick shot application. Arsenal Firearm’s 2011 A1 twin-barrel, 1911-style pistol is a heavy monster to wrangle, but a lot of fun to shoot!”
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Forum member XmarksSpot has been shooting a wicked fast varmint cartridge that has broken the 5000-fps barrier using Berger 30gr varmint bullets. That’s some serious velocity! The parent case is a 6mmBR, which is then improved and necked down to .224 caliber. XmarksSpot reports:
Some people think 5000+ fps is mythical. Well just thought I’d let you guys know that I got 5239 fps a couple weeks ago shooting 30-grainers with my 224 McDonald, a wildcat cartridge based on an improved 6BR case necked down to 224. (This case is very similar to a 22 Dasher.) The bullet used is the 30gr Berger. (The 40s run fast too — about 4800 fps.) The rig is a Rem 700 with a 30″ Hart barrel. Below is the case before and after forming. As you can see it has a 40° shoulder and far more case capacity than a 22 BR (a 22 Dasher case holds about 41.0 grains H20). My most accurate loads are with 50-52gr bullets, with bugholes the norm at 4200 fps. The 40gr bullets will do 4800+ fps.
This 224 McDonald wildcat was originally developed by Charles McDonald. He has been developing and chambering custom cartridges for years. Editor’s Note: Many folks may not be aware of the little .224-caliber 30gr Berger varmint bullet, Berger item # 22301. This bullet is not on Berger’s current production list but some vendors may still have “old stock” inventory. The little 30-grainer has an 0.119 G1 BC and will work in 1:15″ or faster twist barrels. For more info, visit BergerBullets.com.
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How good are the best High Power position shooters? Pretty amazing actually. Here are some targets from the 2015 NRA High Power Championship at Camp Perry. Shown above is a 100-10X (literally a perfect score) at 200 yards. This was shot sitting, rapid-fire by 11-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky. That’s impressive to say the least. As one Facebook fan noted: “Not bad for an old codger with a bad back….”
File photo of Carl from previous competition.
The target below is a 100-0X, shot rapid-fire prone by an unknown sling shooter. That may not seem that impressive at first, but this was fired from THREE HUNDRED yards. It takes a mighty solid hold to produce a nice 10-shot cluster like that without dropping a point.
To put these impressive performances in perspective, Lapua’s Kevin Thomas reports: “For those who aren’t familiar with these targets, the center X-Ring on both of these targets is 3 inches across. The 10-Ring is 7 inches across [including line], roughly the size of a small sandwich plate.”
Target Photos from Facebook by Aaron Perkins.
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Many visitors to the site ask us, “I’ve got a .223 and .308. What will a 6mmBR Norma (6BR) give me that I’m not getting already?” Well first you will probably average consistently smaller groups than your current .223 or .308 rifle (assuming the 6BR has a quality barrel and trigger). A good .308 Winchester can be superbly accurate, no question about that, but the lesser recoil of the 6BR works in the shooter’s favor over a long string of fire. Even with a Rem 700 or Savage action factory action, a 6BR with a benchrest stock, premium barrel, and a high-quality chambering job should deliver 5-shot groups in the high twos to mid-threes, provided you do your job. We have one 6BR rifle that shoots Lapua factory-loaded 6BR ammunition in the low twos and high ones. That’s exceptional, we admit, but it still shows how the 6BR is an inherently accurate cartridge, even with factory loads.
Compared to a .223, the 6BR offers a much better selection of high-BC projectiles, and will deliver considerably more power on the target. Compared to the .308 shooting 168gr MatchKings, a 6BR shooting 105-107gr bullets offers better ballistics all the way out to 1000 yards. Plus, for most people, the 6BR is just easier to shoot than a .308. Recoil is less than half of the .308 cartridge. Both the .308 and 6BR chamberings offer good barrel life, but the 6BR uses 15-18 grains less powder, saving you money. On the other hand the .308 is the designated cartridge for F-TR and Palma shooting, so it may be a more versatile chambering for Long-Range competition. So which would we choose between the 6BR and the .308? Actually we think you should have both. The 6BR is my favorite cartridge out to 500 yards, and I like the .308 Win for F-TR. And… if you want to shoot at the World Fullbore Championships this week at Camp Perry there’s only one choice — a .308 Win.
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Dennis DeMille is a past Camp Perry National Champion, and he still one of the nation’s top Service Rifle shooters. Since retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, Dennis has served as the General Manager of Creedmoor Sports. Some years back we had the chance to interview Dennis at the old Creedmoor offices in Oceanside, California. With his decades of competitive experience, Dennis has a wealth of knowledge. In this 3-minute interview, Dennis shares insights into the High Power shooting game. He discusses the most effective ways to train for competition, the fundamentals of good marksmanship, and how to recognize and perfect your natural point of aim. Dennis also offers solid advice on how to get the best “bang for your buck” when choosing shooting accessories for High Power and Across the Course competition.
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Hey it’s the end of the work week, so we thought you guys might enjoy a little display of honest-to-goodness American .50-Cal firepower. Today’s video features the General Dynamics GAU-19/B Gatling, shown in a vehicle mount (Part 1) and helicopter side-mount (Part 2). The HumVee-mounted version of this bad boy delivers 1300 rounds per minute of .50 BMG ammo. The effect is awesome to behold. We wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a GAU. The original GAU-19/A had a selectable rate of fire — either 1,000 or 2,000 rounds per minute. The GAU-19/B, introduced in 2012, provides the same firepower in a much lighter platform, weighing 106 pounds (not counting ammo storage systems).
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This week, many of the world’s top marksmen have been competing at the National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships, held 29-31 July, 2015 at Camp Perry. The distances are great (1000 yards maximum) as are the challenges — the fickle winds blowing off Lake Erie can be unpredictable.
This year is extra special. The USA hosts the World Fullbore Long Range Championships next week at Camp Perry. The World Championships are held every four years, but any country may only host the event every 25 years. That means the next Fullbore Worlds in the USA could not take place before 2040. This year, teams from 11 countries will compete for national honors (and serious bragging rights). Many top international shooters have already arrived, and they are using the NRA Long Range High Power Championships as a “prelim” for the Fullbore Worlds next week.
Ace ISSF 300m shooter Reya Kempley shoots a hybrid rig with a Stolle Panda Action in an Anschütz smallbore-type metal stock.
Here’s the same rifle, as fitted with hand rest for position shooting. CLICK to Zoom:
British Palma Shooter David Luckman hung tough after suffering a dissappointing 8 (low right) on his first record shot. After serving up that 8 at 4 o’clock, David fought back, shooting all tens and Xs for the rest of his 10-shot string. (Orange stickers show record shots — the yellow dots mark sighters.) David doesn’t crack under pressure — he won the 2012 Long Range Championship at Camp Perry, and he is the reigning ICFRA World Long Range Fullbore (Palma) Rifle Champion.
Those targets are placed a long way off. Now imagine trying to shoot half-MOA with iron sights.
Past Long-Range Champion John Whidden shows good form. John runs a centerfire action in an Anschütz metal smallbore stock. He smithed this rig himself. John favors the ergonomics and adjustability of the Anschütz stock. He also really likes the small-diameter, rounded forearm on this design. “This stock suits me really well”, John told us.
This competitor has an Eliseo (Competition Machine) Tubegun in Patriotic Stars and Stripes Livery.
This U.S. Marine Corps shooter campaigned a classic “Battle Rifle” in the LR Championship, firing a semi-auto version of the M14. It looks like he named the rifle “Lucy”.
Photos from 2015 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.
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Don’t drive through the City of Los Angeles (or fly into LAX) if you have a magazine that holds more than ten (10) rounds. In its infinite wisdom, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new law that makes mere possession of a full-capacity magazine illegal EVEN if it was obtained legally, in compliance with all state and federal laws. This, by definition, is an “ex post facto” law — a statute that makes a crime out of what was considered legal before, requiring citizens to take affirmative action or else be subject to criminal penalties. Possession of a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds will now be a misdemeanor in the City of Los Angeles, as soon as Mayor Eric Garcetti signs the measure into law, which he has promised to do.
Once codified into law, the magazine ban gives residents only two months to comply. Residents will have 60 days to surrender their magazines to the police or remove their magazines from the city. The author of the law, City Councilman Paul Krekorian, declared that the new law will be enforced aggressively by the Los Angeles Police Department.
WARNING — Do Not Transport High-Capacity Magazines Through Los Angeles
We caution all readers that they should not bring any firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds into the Los Angeles city limits. Even if you are just “driving through” on the way to another location, you could be arrested for possession. Likewise, do not ship magazines into Los Angeles, and do not fly into Los Angeles city airports (such as LAX) with high-capacity magazines in your possession on in your luggage. Even if we were just transferring in Los Angeles from one flight to another, we would not carry high-capacity magazines into that airport zone.
Under current California state law it is illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, or import magazines that hold more than ten rounds. However, statewide (except in San Francisco, and Sunnyvale and soon Los Angeles) it is still completely legal to possess such magazines if they were acquired legally BEFORE the high-cap magazine ban went into effect. In other words, possession of “pre-ban” high-cap magazines is “grandfathered” in California — you just can’t buy or sell them anymore within California.
Is the Los Angeles Magazine Ban Constitutional?
The new Los Angeles law can be attacked on various legal grounds. First it can be challenged as an “Ex Post Facto” law. Second, the law should be invalid under the pre-emption doctrine, since regulation of firearm magazines is already controlled by state statute. The pre-emption doctrine recognizes that a state cannot allow municipalities to enact myriad conflicting laws on the same subject matter. Unfortunately, an NRA legal challenge to municipal magazine bans in San Francisco and Sunnyvale failed on Second Amendment grounds. It would have made more sense to have attacked those city-specific regulations on the basis of state pre-emption. Unfortunately, the NRA’s litigation failure will make it more difficult to overturn the Los Angeles magazine ordinance.
The NRA High Power Long Range Championships kicked off on the 29th of July. Despite challenging winds there were many impressive performances, including one by newly-crowned NRA High Power Champion SFC Brandon Green. The talented USAMU shooter traded his Across-the-Course Rig for his 7mm RSAUM prone rifle to compete in the series of Long Range matches. Brandon shot very well, finishing with a 100-7X in the final Shoot-Off to win the Mustin Trophy match.
Shown at top is SFC Brandon Green with his long-range rifle. Note: the target in the photo shows the shot position for Brandon’s 10-shot Shoot-Off — all 10s and Xs. However, this is a REDUCED-SIZE target used for shot-marking (display) purposes only. The actual 1000-yard NRA Long-Range Target has a 10″ X-Ring, and a 20″ Ten-Ring. So the group of shots shown is much smaller than Green’s actual shots on the real 1000-yard target. Nonetheless this was a very impressive string for a sling-shooter using iron sights.
If you’re curious about Green’s long-range rifle, it is a 7mm RSAUM with an Anschutz trigger in a Robertson Composites prone-style stock. This rifle features iron sights, but when USAMU shooters participate in scoped “any sights” competitions, they normally use Nightforce NSX scopes, according the USAMU coach SFC Emil Praslick III.
You Call the Wind…
Conditions were far from easy on Day 1 of the Long Range Championships. Here is a shot taken through a 25X spotting scope by Kevin Thomas of Lapua. Take a look at those flags swinging at different angles. Based on what you can see, what’s your wind call?
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Warner Tool Company (WTC) has introduced a new series of “Flat Line” ultra-high-BC bullets. These sleek, lathe-turned solids are some of the most perfectly-streamlined projectiles ever sold. The Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) of Flat Line projectiles are as much as 20% higher than other match bullets of similar caliber and weight. For example, the .30-caliber 200gr Flat Line bullet has a claimed G1 BC of 0.780. Compare that to 0.555 for the Sierra 200gr MatchKing and 0.622 for the Berger 200gr Hybrid.
The new Flat Line bullets all show extremely high Ballistic Coefficients for their weights:
WTC also claims that Flat Line bullets can be launched at faster velocities than other bullets of similar caliber and weight. In its marketing materials, WTC says that Flat Line bullets deliver “Higher velocities when compared with projectiles in its weight class [and] much higher velocity when compared with projectiles of similar BC.” For example, WTC claims that “the 155.5gr .30-caliber bullet has the velocity of a 125-135gr bullet [with] the BC of a 185-200gr bullet.” It will be interesting to see if these claims can be verified in field tests.
Here are comparative G1 BCs for a variety of large .30-caliber bullets:
Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog has obtained some early-production Flat Line bullets from their designer, Josh Kunz. Zant has written a lengthy article explaining the design and features of the new Flat Line bullets. If you are considering ordering some of these new lathe-turned solids, you should definitely read Zant’s report.
These bullets were designed by Aerospace engineer Josh Kunz using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate supersonic air flow around the bullets. Through the use of advanced modeling and precision CNC machining, Kunz has developed extremely uniform, ballistically “slippery” bullets that fly faster and flatter than other projectiles of similar weight/caliber.
Premium Pricing: Flat Line Bullets Cost $125 to $165 per Hundred
These new Flat Line solid bullets are pricey. The 155s cost $1.25 per bullet and the price goes up from there. If you need large quantities of projectiles for a week-long match, the cost can be daunting. One hundred fifty of the 200-grainers will set you back $435.00! Here is a price list for the new Flat Line bullets. All quantities are in boxes of 50. Pricing is introductory and subject to change.
.30 Cal 155 grain
$62.50 per 50-ct box ($1.25 per bullet)
.30 Cal 180 grain
$67.50 per 50-ct box ($1.35 per bullet)
.30 Cal 200 grain
$72.50 per 50-ct box ($1.45 per bullet)
.338 Cal 255 grain
$82.50 per 50-ct box ($1.65 per bullet)
Is the cost worth it? When you look at the overall expense of attending a major match, and the fact that the top places in big matches are sometimes are decided by a single point (or X-Count), some competitors will spend the extra money for these ultra-high BC solids.
Congratulations to SFC Brandon Green on winning the 2015 NRA National High Power Championship. Green shot an impressive 2387-140X to earn his second High Power title, finishing ahead of past Champion Norman Houle (2380-126X) and USAMU team-mate SFC Shane Barnhart (2379-127X). Brandon told AccurateShooter.com: “It’s a great honor and privilege to shoot and compete with such great people here at camp Perry. We had a great match this year and I already look forward to seeing everyone next year.”
It was a well-deserved win for Green, who had to over-come the effects of a nasty spider bite on his right arm (see photo). Joe Caley observed: “Our man Brandon Green and his new-found Spiderman powers pulled off another great Championship. Years from now, no one will remember the 2015 Championship [scores], but they will remember Brandon Green’s Spider Bite!”
SFC Green expressed gratitude to all those who assisted his efforts: “I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who support and help us do what we love to do. Thank you for all of the hard work, congratulations, and encouraging words. From the USAMU support team to the friends on the range and back home, I feel blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. THANK YOU!”
Here are the Top Ten Finishers, ranked by score for all Classifications:
Bernosky Forced to Withdraw Due to Medical Issues Report by NRABlog.com
This is the second championship for SFC Green, whose first win came two years ago in 2013 after a tie with legendary shooter Carl Bernosky at 2384-126X each. Although both possessed the same point total and X-Count, Green was ultimately awarded the championship after a rulebook-mandated comparison of Xs at each distance gave him the advantage.
Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle champion, withdrew from this year’s competition after the first day (while in sole possession of first place) due to medical complications.
“This win is kind of bittersweet because Carl wasn’t able to be out here. We are pretty good friends and we’re both super competitive people so I wanted to shoot against him,” Green said. “Carl is one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen in this sport, Norm too, and it’s nice to be able to shoot with these guys every year.”
Range photos from 2015 HP Nat’l Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.
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Want to get a $25.00 store credit on a $100.00 purchase? Here’s how — use discount code “25NRASTORE” when shopping in the NRA’s online web-store now through September 13, 2015.
The NRA recently upgraded the NRAStore.com website. To encourage folks to try out the new site, the NRAStore is providing a FREE $25.00 gift card with all orders of $100 or more. If you purchase a minimum of $100 worth of gear, and you get $25 towards your next NRAstore purchase. Use promo code 25NRASTORE during checkout.Note: Gift card cannot be used towards initial or previous purchases. The Physical gift card will be delivered with order.
Here are three popular products from the NRA Store:
This specialty backpack features compartments for hearing protection, shooting glasses, stapler, tape, optics, and pistol magazines. The rigid lower compartment features a slide-out, four-gun foam cradle. Dimensions: 17” W x 22” H x 9” D.
2. The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive, $24.95
Outdoorsman Rich Johnson presents 333 key tips in this 256-page survival manual. Topics include first-aid, building a shelter, and putting together a “bug-out” bag.
This is a very nice mat. The waterproof exterior won’t absorb solvents, while the Tri-Fold design contains small parts when cleaning. Three sizes: Pistol (14” x 18”), Rifle (42” x 14”), and Shotgun (52” x 14”).
Discount Offer tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Every summer weekend, there are probably 400 or more club “fun matches” conducted around the country. One of the good things about these club shoots is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment to have fun. But we’ve seen that many club shooters handicap themselves with a few common equipment oversights or lack of attention to detail while reloading. Here are SIX TIPS that can help you avoid these common mistakes, and build more accurate ammo for your club matches.
1. Align Front Rest and Rear Bags. We see many shooters whose rear bag is angled left or right relative to the bore axis. This can happen when you rush your set-up. But even if you set the gun up carefully, the rear bag can twist due to recoil or the way your arm contacts the bag. After every shot, make sure your rear bag is aligned properly (this is especially important for bag squeezers who may actually pull the bag out of alignment as they squeeze).
Forum member ArtB adds: “To align my front rest and rear bag with the target, I use an old golf club shaft. I run it from my front rest stop through a line that crosses over my speed screw and into the slot between the two ears. I stand behind that set-up and make sure I see a straight line pointing at the target. I also have a piece of tape that I’ve placed on the golf shaft that indicates how far the back end of the rear bag should be placed from the front rest stop. Don’t have an old golf shaft? Go to Home Depot and buy an inexpensive piece of wood dowel.”
2. Avoid Contact Interference. We see three common kinds of contact or mechanical interference that can really hurt accuracy. First, if your stock has front and/or rear sling swivels make sure these do NOT contact the front or rear bags at any point of the gun’s travel. When a sling swivel digs into the front bag that can cause a shot to pop high or low. To avoid this, reposition the rifle so the swivels don’t contact the bags or simply remove the swivels before your match. Second, watch out for the rear of the stock grip area. Make sure this is not resting on the bag as you fire and that it can’t come back to contact the bag during recoil. That lip or edge at the bottom of the grip can cause problems when it contacts the rear bag. Third, watch out for the stud or arm on the front rest that limits forward stock travel. With some rests this is high enough that it can actually contact the barrel. We encountered one shooter recently who was complaining about “vertical flyers” during his match. It turns out his barrel was actually hitting the front stop! With most front rests you can either lower the stop or twist the arm to the left or right so it won’t contact the barrel.
3. Weigh Your Charges — Every One. This may sound obvious, but many folks still rely on a powder measure. Yes we know that most short-range BR shooters throw their charges without weighing, but if you’re going to pre-load for a club match there is no reason NOT to weigh your charges. You may be surprised at how inconsistent your powder measure actually is. One of our testers was recently throwing H4198 charges from a Harrell’s measure for his 30BR. Each charge was then weighed twice with a Denver Instrument lab scale. Our tester found that thrown charges varied by up to 0.7 grains! And that’s with a premium measure.
4. Measure Your Loaded Ammo — After Bullet Seating. Even if you’ve checked your brass and bullets prior to assembling your ammo, we recommend that you weigh your loaded rounds and measure them from base of case to bullet ogive using a comparator. If you find a round that is “way off” in weight or more than .005″ off your intended base to ogive length, set it aside and use that round for a fouler. (Note: if the weight is off by more than 6 or 7 grains you may want to disassemble the round and check your powder charge.) With premium, pre-sorted bullets, we’ve found that we can keep 95% of loaded rounds within a range of .002″, measuring from base (of case) to ogive. Now, with some lots of bullets, you just can’t keep things within .002″, but you should still measure each loaded match round to ensure you don’t have some cases that are way too short or way too long.
5. Check Your Fasteners. Before a match you need to double-check your scope rings or iron sight mounts to ensure everything is tight. Likewise, you should check the tension on the screws/bolts that hold the action in place. Even with a low-recoiling rimfire rifle, action screws or scope rings can come loose during normal shooting.
6. Make a Checklist and Pack the Night Before. Ever drive 50 miles to a match then discover you have the wrong ammo or that you forgot your bolt? Well, mistakes like that happen to the best of us. You can avoid these oversights (and reduce stress at matches) by making a checklist of all the stuff you need. Organize your firearms, range kit, ammo box, and shooting accessories the night before the match. And, like a good Boy Scout, “be prepared”. Bring a jacket and hat if it might be cold. If you have windflags, bring them (even if you’re not sure the rules allow them). Bring spare batteries, and it’s wise to bring a spare rifle and ammo for it. If you have just one gun, a simple mechanical breakdown (such as a broken firing pin) can ruin your whole weekend.
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Larry Vickers is a respected firearms trainer who has served with the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). In the course of teaching classes he’s learned that many gun owners waste money on impractical gun accessories. In his recent Ammoland.com article, “Don’t Be a Tacti-Cool Fool”, Vickers examines today’s trend of over-accessorizing firearms, particularly AR-platform rifles. Vickers doesn’t mince words… he states that too many people are spending too much money on poorly-designed hardware that may be “useless” at best.
Equipment Selection Advice from Larry Vickers
Every class I teach I see and hear students talking about the realization that some things about their gear and shooting in general just doesn’t add up on the range. Everything looks good in a Brownells Catalog but a significant amount of the parts and accessories offered on the market today are: a) useless; b) poorly designed; c) of questionable value; or d) downright dangerous.
No one is better at taking fully-functional, factory-made firearms and turning them into junk than a certain segment of the American gun-buying public.
Some people really don’t apply the common sense approach of not messing with what is potentially a life-saving tool. Sadly some of those same people will get on the Internet and talk bad about how the firearm they modified no longer functions and therefore is junk. Or they will recommend to fellow shooters the same parts and modifications they have used to turn their gun into, at best, a range toy.
Some of this shows up in my classes and usually by lunch on the first day the obvious flaws of the equipment at hand become apparent for everyone in the class, most of all to the owner of said equipment. It may have cost the shooter some money but in turn he learned a serious life lesson –be careful what you read on the Internet about firearms modifications and there is no substitute for shaking out your equipment at the range in a structured class.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’ll learn more about guns and shooting in one class than you could in a month on the Internet.
READ about guns, gear, and shooting on the Internet. LEARN about guns, gear, and shooting on the range during well-thought-out and useful training. This approach is proven and consistently produces results and shooter confidence.
Larry Vickers is a retired U.S. Army Special Operations Forces veteran with 20+ years of service. Vickers served in Panama, the Middle East (Desert Storm), Somalia, Bosnia, and other locations. During his time with Delta Force, Vickers worked on weapons R&D, and served as a combat marksmanship instructor training new operational members of Delta.
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Safeguarding Social Security Beneficiaries’ Second Amendment Rights
Nineteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee have challenged plans by the Obama administration to provide the names of disabled Social Security beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This would result in the classification of these beneficiaries as “prohibited persons” who are not allowed to acquire firearms. The Representatives say this proposal would violate the spirit of the Americans with Disability Act and threaten the Constitutional rights of law-abiding older Americans.
In their joint letter to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, the Representatives argue convincingly that plans to classify older citizens as “prohibited persons” for NICS purposes is unconstitutional:
It has come to our attention that the Social Security Administration is considering a policy to provide the names of Social Security beneficiaries who have a “representative payee” to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in an effort to limit [their] Second Amendment rights. This would be a dangerous overreach, and we urge you to abandon any such plan.
The representative payee system is vital for beneficiaries who need assistance managing their own finances. Millions of responsible seniors and people with disabilities rely on a representative payee. Simply using this system does not mean beneficiaries are a risk to themselves or others.
Providing information on individuals who have a representative payee to the NICS is a broad overreach of authorities and violates beneficiaries’ constitutional rights. This policy runs counter to the aims of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)[.]
Old age or a disability doesn’t make someone a threat to society. Having a representative payee should not be grounds to revoke constitutional rights. We strongly urge you to halt any steps to provide information on Social Security beneficiaries or Supplemental Security Income recipients to the NICS.
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Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below.
The new F1 Chassis System from Competition Machine is now in production. This straight-line, all-metal chassis with ultra-low bore axis is optimized for F-Class competition. Designer/builder Gary Eliseo tell us that Competition Machine is now accepting F1 Chassis orders for fall 2015 delivery. To order or if you have questions, email Gary via his website contact page.
Gary tells us: “The new F1 Chassis System, designed specifically for F-Open class, has already begun to rack up awards. The system has several innovations that make it an excellent choice for your next build.” F1 Chassis has many design features that improve tracking and tame torque effect:
Low COG — Super low rider fore-end keeps the center of gravity as low as possible
Long Wheelbase — The long separation from front of stock to rear bag-rider improves tracking and reduces the tendency to jump or twist (torque).
Adjustable Offset — The bag-rider section of the fore-end can be adjusted left to right. This adjustable horizontal offset allows you to choose if you want the fore-end offset left, right or center.
Adaptable to All Shooters — The F1 Chassis System features adjustable length of pull, buttplate drop, and cheekpiece height.
Unique Bonded Barrel Block™ System
Stress is the enemy of accuracy. For this reason the F1 Chassis system features a “zero stress” barrel mounting system which uses a barrel block permanently bonded to the barrel. This allows the action to float, relieving all stress from the threaded joint between the barrel and action and all flexing of the action. With this unique “floating action” design, the F1 chassis is compatible with ANY round rifle action! Replacement barrel blocks are available so you can run multiple barreled actions with your F1 chassis. When it’s time to replace the barrel, the barrel block can be “unbonded” and adapted to a new, same-diameter barrel.
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One of the most popular events at the Camp Perry National Matches is the CMP Rimfire Sporter Match. This will be held Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at Camp Perry. The match attracts shooters from 8 to 80 years, both novice competitors as well as experienced marksmen. Rimfire Sporter stresses fun, accessibility and practical marksmanship skills. It is a great game for shooters who want a target event that does not require expensive rifles or gear.
Rimfire Sporter tests shooters’ skills in three different firing positions, at two different ranges, in both precision and rapid-fire shooting. During the match, competitors fire smallbore sporter rifles from 50 and 25 yards. Rifles may be manually operated or semi-automatic and supported with sights or a sling. Choose whatever sighting system you prefer — there are classes for both iron sights rigs and scoped rifle. Competitors will complete slow fire prone, rapid fire prone, slow fire sitting or kneeling, rapid fire sitting or kneeling, slow fire standing and rapid fire standing shot sequences. There is no minimum age for the match, but all competitors must be capable of safely completing a 60-shot course of fire.
Three different classifications of rifles will be used during the competition: “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T Class” for telescope-sighted rifles and the recently-added “Tactical Rimfire” class. High Juniors and Seniors, as well as Overall winners will be named for each class.
For those wanting to learn more about the match before firing, an instructional Rimfire Sporter Clinic will be held on Friday, July 31 from 4-6 p.m. to cover rules, Course of Fire, safety instructions, and competition procedures. This FREE CLINIC will include demonstrations and presentations by qualified members of the CMP. Competitors with no previous Rimfire Sporter Match experience are strongly encouraged to attend.
To learn more about Rimfire Sporter Competition read AccurateShooter’s Guide to Rimfire Sporter Shooting. That comprehensive article explains match rules, rifle equipment standards, and the course of fire. In addition, the article illustrates the shooting positions, and explains how to start a rimfire sporter match at your local club.
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On his Firearm User Network website, our friend John Buol has published a series of resources for M1 Garand shooters. Buol says these informational articles and videos should benefit all Garand shooters: “Some are appropriate for pure beginners, while some a bit more advanced. None are very advanced.” The links were compiled with the help of John Tate.
Rifle Marksmanship with the M1 Garand Rifle
The film was made in 1942/43 for the War Department. It shows shooting positions and holding techniques for the M1 Garand. This informative video will help both novice Garand shooters as well as experts seeking a “refresher course”. The film focuses on the M1 Garand but the techniques can be applied to any rifle. The narration sounds a bit “corny” by today’s standards, but focus on the techniques shown and you’ll learn plenty.
Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual is included with CMP rifles and is also available for just $3.00 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.”
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